Tuesday, March 02, 2010

New mobile app for Weather Central site

I'm continually frustrated by the lack of mobile applications for EC products.. but thanks to the work of local EC staff in Winnipeg, the Weather Central site from the University of Manitoba now has a mobile version for your iphone, itouch, or blackberry devices. The mobile app has convenient links to EC forecasts, satellite imagery, and local radar as well as an input form for severe weather reports, handy to relay those severe weather reports from home, on the road, or wherever you are! Check it out!


  1. Rob!

    When you click on the "mobile link"
    you arrive at a web page with all on the Environment Canada data!

    That radar is something new that I have never seen before, how is that radar different that the one on weatheroffice website???

  2. I believe that radar image is taken from the Navcanada briefing page.. but the link eventually takes you to Weatheroffice radar.

  3. Great News Rob...Glad to see links to Hiway Conditions though I would prefer to see on main menu.

  4. Skywatch is calling for cloudy w/sleet on Sunday?? Is there anything to this other than a late update?

  5. Rob!

    You think we could be completely snow free in a couple weeks????

    If this hot .... I mean warm weather keeps up we might be!

  6. I have updated the sites to use the current WeatherOffice radar imagery. You can also run an 8-image loop as well. It has a much better color scheme than the NavCanada images too. AQHI and Wind Chill are now included in the current conditions now.

    Hope people enjoy.

  7. Thanks for that Buffalo Seven!

    We will be needing that for the upcoming summer storm season!

  8. Would there be interest for support for any other communities in S.Man?

  9. daniel..

    Yes, we have some nice mild weather on tap for the next week or two. However, we'd have to get even milder with rain, above freezing temperatures at night, and/or above freezing dewpoints to start getting rid of this snowpack that quickly. Notice that the snowcovered terrain of the Prairies are not getting above freezing during the day, even though the sun is out and the same airmass is giving temperatures well above zero in the forested areas. The snowcover over the prairies is reflecting a lot of the solar energy that would go into melting it, so as a result, only a little surface melting occurs during the peak of the day. The well below freezing temperatures at night makes it that much more difficult to get rid of the snowpack quickly. But we're getting there! If we can hang onto this mild weather into the third week of March, I've seen us lose a 30 cm snowpack within a week by that time of the year. Hopefully, we can get a nice steady snowmelt with little additional snowfall or rain to ease this year's flood threat.

  10. Precip threat looks minimal for us this weekend as upper impulse moves across Dakotas, with bulk of precip staying in Dakotas.. Models also showing main energy of next system next Tue-Wed staying well to our south. We'll see if models maintain these trends.. but latest indications are these systems will be bypassing southern MB to our south.. much like they've been doing all winter.

  11. Tadoule Lake, MB: +6C
    Winnipeg, MB: -5C

    How is that for forest impact!

  12. The comments in today's Free Press Red River Flood Forecast Downgraded (Page A2) about continued current weather, conditions (snow melt) and flood need a serious caveat. In 1969 everything the flood forecaster wished for this morning occurred except we had a major flood.

    Winter 1968-9 was another major flood year most comparable in many ways to this year. EC data indicates almost identical mean monthly and total temps and precipitation from Nov 1 to Feb 28. The first 9 days of March ( 9.7 mm) was also similar to this year’s actual and forecast. This was followed by a mild (sunny I presume) 46 day run of no measurable pcpn from Mar 10 to April 24. Despite this favorable weather, another major flood occurred.

  13. A 46 day run of no adverse weather!! ..not much to blog about I'd guess.

  14. Another wonderful day in Steinbach. Current temperature is +3C, and the skies are completely sunny.

  15. Rob, how long CAN this warm sunny weather continue? All these lows we were suposed to get are going to south instead. May this last the rest of the month? I understand it's a little early to say though.

  16. With widespread snowmelt occurring today (first time since January warm spell)... plenty of low level moisture around. Clear skies early tonite will allow for fog to develop - coupled with moist southerly fetch in advance of initial disturbance - there will be a tendancy for low stratus to ooze back over our area possibly by early tomorrow. That would mean a warm start tomorrow... if we can get any clear breaks it would make for a mild day.

    It may tough to get much clearing even after disturbance washes out and moves east... weak high pressure asserts control by late in the weekend but fog and stratus may get trapped beneath inversion (something we have seen a lot of recently).

    Then attention will turn to possible inverted trough extending up from main Colorado low early next week. Potential is there for a stronger surge of low level moisture with embedded drizzle/mist... would be nice if that could start eating away more at our snowpack.

  17. Looks like we stay storm free through mid March if the GFS is correct.. as an upper ridge dominates over the Prairies while waves of energy off the Pacific get channeled along the southern branch of the jet stream over the southern US.. in a classic El Nino signature. How long this pattern will last is difficult to say.. but El Nino is forecast to weaken as we get into April and May which may lead to a stormier pattern redeveloping. Until then, looks like we stay mild and dry which is a good thing for the spring flooding potential in the Red River valley. Even so, the threat remains high especially to our south due to the heavy snowpack and ground moisture conditions.

  18. Lots of updates to the page. I've redesigned it so that there are no longer separate pages for different sites; rather the default page is Winnipeg, and any other sites use http://.../index.php?city=(SITE-ID). This allows for quicker updates since content is dynamically filled in.

    Some bug fixes and improvements:
    - Extended Forecasts now opens on the first click, every time.
    - Radar imagery is now the current Weather Office imagery, not the lousy NavCanada stuff. Animation works. A bug where often you had to refresh for it to load has been fixed.
    - Current Canadian Warnings has been replaced with the provincial warning map for the site in question.
    - Visual tweaks

    And I've added more sites. The complete list of supported cities is:

    - Brandon (YBR)
    - Churchill (YYQ)
    - Gimli (YGM)
    - Portage la Prairie (YPG)
    - Steinbach (SFP)
    - Thompson (YTH)
    - Winnipeg (YWG)

    - Regina (YQR)
    - Saskatoon (YXE)

    - Calgary (YYC)
    - Edmonton City Center (YXD)
    - Edmonton International Apt. (YEG)

    - Toronto (YYZ)

    You can either fill in the city code as shown above, or head to the mobile site and click on "Choose Another Location..." under the links section.

    If you would like your city added to the list, comment and I'll see what I can do.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Just to clarify, a quick way to get the Brandon version of the page would be to just use the following address:


  21. Dan GF and Daniel are you as confident with these numbers
    NOAA HPC 1-5 day QPF calls for as much as 15 to 20 cms in the SouthWestern RRV to 8 to 12 in the northeast
    Winnipeg TWN is calling for 4 to 6 mms of rain and 8 to 10 cms of snow early next week as is Accuweather.

    For Grand Forks TWN doesn't give QPF details but 30 to 40% POP of snowshowers Tuesday, thru Thursday.

  22. Jim

    I am working today and saw 12z runs. The extended runs have been all of the place esp the gfs and ecmwf in having this system affect us or all south. I see GEM is mostly south of ND. But does appear ecmwf/gfs idea may be correct in spreading pcpn into ern nd/nw mn and even srn Manitoba Tues-Thu period as next 500 mb low moves onshore far srn CA and then moves into the Plains and may be blocked for a while and head more north-northeast toward srn MN-nrn IA mid week.

    While system is no blockbuster I can certainly see tues-wed-thu pcpn amts of around an inch in far srn RRV with half inch or so ne nd. PTYPE looks to be an issue with quite warm 925-850 mb temps and sfc temps above 32F during the day and maybe a bit blo at night. SREF ptype probablities indicate 50-70 pct rain srn RRV tues with a ra-fzra mix idea northern areas.

    Will need to monitor to see if system will be stronger and wetter than progged. With lackluster percformance from models hard to tell. If we get under an inch liquid over a 3 day period and temps in the 30s probably not a huge impact. Snowpack is ripening down here but no signs of melt season has began as ditches are all plugged up and iced over.

  23. Thanks Dan.. Hope it stays south in SD n IA..We already have as much Snow Water Equivalent in the southern valley and even more north of Fargo and Grand Forks.
    This shows this year SWE March 06,2010 compared to the peak last yearSWE March 15,2009

  24. Rob!

    Any hope in getting rid of these cloudy / foggy days???

    How about Tuesday's periods of rain?

    Lots of rain expected?

  25. I was looking at some of the record highs for this time of year and they are already 15 C!

    In 2000 we must of been snow free already to get temperatures in the mid teens!

  26. Periods of rain tomorrow night!!!

    Not to often you see rain at night in March!

  27. I know I can't believe rain already. I just can't help but think somehow we will pay for this warm weather in the short future.

  28. GFS and NAM are showing around 15mm of rain/wet snow for SE MB. The GEM is showing 5 to 10mm of rain. The NAM solution would also give Winnipeg fairly substantial precipitation, but the other two models are much lower with amounts for the big city.

  29. From 15 to 25 mm precip mix in RRV By NWS Grand Forks tonite n Tuesday Active Weather Expected This Week

  30. Sorry for the lack of updates.. I'm down here in sunny Toronto for the week, enjoying the sunshine and 13C temperatures! This is what Winnipeg should be like a month from now (hopefully!) Sure is nice to get away from all that dreary weather and slop in Winnipeg. Hopefully you don't get too much rain with this next system..

  31. Lead disturbance will lift up from the SW overnite tapping decent LLJ and warm moist advection. Models depict best warm advection and nose of LLJ just to our SE overnite and that is where QPF bullseye is located. However, the precip band will have a tendancy to retrograde NW and weaken slighlty as LLJ wraps up around parent low in central plains. So potenital is there for Winnipeg to get into the higher amounts, particularly if things set up a bit further west than expected (not out of the question given strength of blocking ridge). I think GFS is too eager in bringing in colder temps given warm air in place now. Rain with a mix of wet snow on the NW edge of precip shield appears like a reasonable guess.

  32. Hope your having a good time in Toronto Rob!

    Your not missing much here except dreary depressing cloudy days!

  33. A year ago this week a string of major weather events starting with a ND blizzard that missed Southern Manitoba. The 2 weeks following, a series non stop systems predicted ten days in advance began

    As one blogger commented about the models "Im sure we'll learn something from this"

    Here is a post from the beginning of the Mb part or click on my name

    Daryl said...


    Any hints of any large storms in the next couple of weeks?

    9:57 AM, March 14, 2009

    rob said...

    Nothing major that the models are hinting at this point. Our upper pattern over the next week or two will be dominated by a zonal flow or upper ridge to the west.. which is not conducive to big storms developing over the US plains.

    5:54 PM, March 14, 2009

    Anonymous said...

    Look at the system on the 00z GFS for next Saturday. The 8 Day run from now. Monster storm system. Looks tornadic in areas like South Central Dakota. Triple point set up with an amazing veering profile would mean a good chance of tornadoes too. I doubt this will materialize. It also shows mega precip for us in South Man too. But hey, it's nice to see a summer storm system being hinted at this early in the year.

    Daniel.. To paraphrase Daryl is there anything that interesting in your crystal ball?

    11:25 AM, March 15, 2009

  34. Funny this post just was entered. I just logged on to ask if there is any major systems over the next couple of weeks and I see this exact post from a year ago. Oh well here goes. Any hint of some large storms over the next two weeks?

  35. The snowpack is Steinbach is steadily declining. On Sunday evening there was around 30cm of snow on the ground. Last night there was 25cm, now today around noon there is only 22cm.

    Models show the temperature remaining at or above zero in Steinbach for the next 84 hours. Not sure if this will occur, but if it were to happen, we would be close to snow free by the end of the weekend.

  36. talked with river folks...and temps too cold to melt much snow with the rain...a few small tribs in west central minnesota responding but river folks dont expect any river rises as rain is soaked up in the snow. Temps are above freezing for next severals days but with temps in the mid 30s and the clouds/rain nothing really to melt it fast. local runoff is occurring but snow melt and rivers will not get really going until we see sun and temps in the 40sF. This might occur in the valley early to mid next week...but worry about the ever present low clouds. Does appear a cool down after the 20th to the end of the month.

    Right now thought process is rain is really ripening the snowpack and it will melt fast IF we get some sun and 40s...but unsure how many days we will get of that before cooler air may move in. Stay tuned. Our snow water in snow core today was nearly 4 inches...up about half inch from yesterday and matches what fell as rain overnight.

  37. Water content of snowpack in Steinbach is around 61mm (2.4").

    Entire column of snow is very wet... which means it's "ripe"?? Temperature has held steady around +3C here today, and snowpack is melting at a good pace. Snow depth is now around 21cm.

  38. Dan Your update and a similar one by GFKS NWS River fcstr on CBC 990 AM At Noon today leave us with many questions.

    Last year we rec'd a lot of mid march rain I assume causing?? a quick melt. This year some of the surveys indicate the water content of the northern valley snow is 2 to 3 times as much as last year. (2" to 4" more).

    By inference, would a quick melt result in the same flow increment as two more inches of rain did last spring or 2 more inches of rain last November or both

    Also last year, two of the major south flowing Red River tributaries the Sheyenne and Thief (Red Lake) rivers crested (second time) much later (in April) than the peaks in Grand Forks and Fargo.

    Was that due to the rain induced melt?

    Can you suggest a source or other blog that might have this info.

  39. All of these foogy days are really starting to get old!

    I can't wait for the sun to make a comeback!

  40. Snow is melting at a rate of 1cm/3hr in Steinbach today. Tomorrow is expected to be just as warm as today, so we can expect to lose around 5cm. That would put the snow depth around 14cm. Currently snow depth is 19cm.

  41. How much rain did you get in Steinbach?
    Anyone think those 7-10°C everyone expects is realistic? It just seems pretty sudden!

  42. Anon...

    I can give you some info on your questions....but I am not a hydrologist and thus my understanding may not be 100 pct correct. I do recall the meteorological situation though last year.

    How I understand it...if you would get 1 or 2 inches of rain on top of a snowpack...half or more would soak into the snowcover adding water content to the snow. The other part would be local runoff of of concrete and into local sewer systems. So not quite a one and one relationship. The rain last year came with temps in the 40s to low 50s and that was warm enough to cause main melt. That is the question we are dealing with this year...rain with this system with mid or upper 30s temps causing some melt but in many areas snowpack is holding and soaking up the rain. We are getting some runoff and water over ice in some rivers. Big question will be next week before temps drop blo normal after the 20th.

    As for the other rivers and crest...the snow pack last winter held until very late in the headwaters of the Sheyenne (Devils Lake) and in the headwaters of the Thief...whereas the snowmelt was earlier in the Red. That accounted for the later crest.